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State of Alaska

Department of Administration

Division of Finance

Alaska Department of Administration, Division of Finance
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IRIS Project

News & Information

IRIS Insight Monthly Newsletter

Current Issue - April, 2015 [PDF]

News & Updates

Click on a headline below to read the update.

IRIS Classroom Training Kick-Off 04/22/2015

Classroom sessions of IRIS content courses kick off in Anchorage on Monday, April 27th and manuals for all IRIS course offerings are available on the IRIS course materials webpage. In addition to training, the IRIS Project team is working with department representatives on User Acceptance Testing now through May 8th as well as preparations for Go Live.

IRIS Training Registration Opens March 16th! 03/16/2015

IRIS Training is here! All State of Alaska employees who will be using IRIS must complete the IRIS End User Prerequisite Curriculum BEFORE they can register for any classroom training sessions. Classroom sessions will be offered in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. Sessions begin April 27th! For more information check out the IRIS Training Course Catalog on the IRIS Training page. To register, log on to LearnAlaska.

IRIS End User Training Prerequisites 12/31/2014

If you will be attending IRIS training in the spring, log in to LearnAlaska now and register for the IRIS End User Prerequisite Curriculum. This curriculum includes the following online courses: IRIS Overview, IRIS Getting Started, IRIS Workflow, IRIS Chart of Accounts Overview, and IRIS Procurement Overview.

Preparing for Cutover & UAT 11/25/2014

The IRIS Project team is currently focused on preparations for the next cutover and User Acceptance Testing, which involves verifying that department information is ready to load into IRIS and making sure the data to run the selected test scripts is in the system. The team is also conducting online performance testing, which simulates the workload IRIS will need to handle once it is live. Preparations for Train-the-Trainer and end user training continue for the Financial/ Procurement side, while the HRM team continues to work on the business design and draft decision papers for modifications to the Human Resource Management module.

Integrated System Testing Continues 09/02/2014

The Finance and Procurement teams are executing test scripts (scenarios) of financial and procurement processes as part of Integrated System Testing Pass 3 (IST3). In this 3rd round of IST, we are testing end to end scenarios which include testing information entering IRIS through interfaces and outputting information from IRIS to reports. This is done to ensure that the data and changes weíve built into IRIS work as intended. The Technical team is assisting with IST3 and analyzing the results of the remote Network Performance Testing conducted earlier this month.

The Human Resources Management (HRM) team continues to evaluate the baseline design of the HRM module and began drafting business flow diagrams to document how current HR and payroll processes will be designed in the IRIS.

The Change Management team is building the end user training schedule and will be offering additional IRIS Preview sessions in Juneau and Anchorage this month. For more information or to register for a session, please log on to LearnAlaska via the LearnAlaska portal page.

Integrated System Testing, Round 3 08/05/2014

This month, the IRIS team will begin the 3rd round of Integrated System Testing (IST). Members of the Technical team will be traveling to remote locations to test how the system performs in these areas. The Human Resource Management team continues to review and evaluate the baseline design and has started to work on flowcharts of business processes for use during testing, training and configuration. The Change Management team is focused on developing training materials and analyzing departmentsí training needs.

IRIS HRM Module 04/02/2014

Work on the IRIS Human Resources Management (HRM) module has begun! In April, the HRM team will begin prototyping, which involves looking at the starting model for how HRM processes occur in the new system, discussing what works and considering how current processes may be revised to take advantage of the systemís capabilities. On the Financial/ Procurement front, the teams are busy conducting the second round of Integrated System Testing. For additional information on IRIS Project activities, check out the March 2014 edition of IRIS Insight, the IRIS Project newsletter.

Integrated System Testing, Round 2 02/25/2014

On February 19, the second round of Integrated System Testing (IST) began and will run through June 27, 2014. Several state employees from the Department of Administrationís Division of Finance and Division of General Services will be assisting the IRIS team with this round of testing to gain familiarity with the system. The IRIS team is also busy mapping all of the data from AKSAS to IRIS and testing that the conversions are working correctly.

IRIS Workshops and Data Conversion 01/29/2014

Now through April, the IRIS team is preparing for and conducting workshops on Accounts Receivable, Cost Accounting, Security & Workflow, and Fixed Assets. The purpose of the workshops is to assist departments with understanding and completing IRIS related tasks. Behind the scenes, the team is updating test cases from the first round of Integrated System Testing (IST) and converting data to be used in the second round of Integrated System Testing which is scheduled to begin in February. For additional information on whatís happening with IRIS, please check out the January 2014 edition of IRIS Insight, the IRIS Project newsletter.

Integrated System Testing Status Update 11/26/2013

The IRIS team is focused on Integrated System Testing (IST). To date, 45% of test scripts have been completed and the team is on track to complete this first round of testing by December 20, 2013. In addition to testing, the IRIS team is now offering workshops each month to help departments complete IRIS related activities. The current workshops focus on completing department Chart of Accounts (COA) Mapping and Configuration spreadsheets, which are due Friday, December 6, 2013. For more information regarding the IRIS workshops contact your department's IRIS business lead.

Change in Financial and Procurement System Go-Live Date 10/15/2013

A one-year change to the implementation date for the IRIS financial and procurement module was announced today. Project management determined that a properly tested system with sufficiently trained users was a significant risk that could not be overcome by the July 1, 2014 timeline. At this point, the project team is two to three months behind schedule due to earlier project delays which has limited the core teamís ability to guide and prepare departments. The complexities of implementing a statewide accounting system any time other than the end of a fiscal year makes a one-year extension for the financial and procurement module the preferred action. The overall project timeline is unchanged with the HR/payroll module development commencing on time.

Work will continue with emphasis on completing development and unit testing based on the current project schedule. The additional time will be used to execute more thorough testing and improve training with a fully functional system to allow departmentís ample opportunity to adjust their decentralized chart of accounts, security, and workflow to meet their specific needs.

Go Plans Outreach Phase 2 08/29/2013

The IRIS Project is preparing for Go Plan Outreach 2. The Go Plan is a coordinated effort to gather departmental information needed to build and implement IRIS. The plan is broken down into 3 phases of activities. Since May 2013, departments have been helping the IRIS Project complete the tasks outlined in Phase 1. On September 3rd, the team will host a meeting with department representatives to discuss the tasks associated with Phase 2.

Chart of Accounts 07/09/2013

Currently, the IRIS team is focused on the activities required to construct the building blocks of the new system Ė the chart of accounts (COA) structures. First, and most important for all departments, are the decentralized COA structures. Everything in IRIS is based on these structures. IRIS Liaisons and functional team members are conducting COA outreach meetings with each department, in an effort to assist departments in completing this work.

Training Needs Assessment 07/09/2013

IRIS Liaisons are also working with departments to obtain an estimate of how many people in each department need to be trained on IRIS and where they are located. This information will serve as input into our training plan and help make sure everyone who will be using IRIS gets the training they need before Go Live.

Build Phase Begins 04/04/2013

IRIS is starting the Build Phase of the project, which means weíve begun configuring the software to match the way the state wants to use it. In order to properly configure the system, Project Team members will meet with departments to introduce the IRIS GO Plan. The GO Plan is a framework for how to gather and organize the information needed for configuration at the department level, and the work that is involved. Each department will receive a copy of the GO Plan specifically tailored for them, which includes a checklist of tasks (for both the department and the IRIS team) to complete prior to Go Live, a tools and templates, and a way to track progress.

Wrapping Up Envision 03/01/2013

The IRIS Project Team is wrapping up the Envision Phase of the project which involved the Financial and Procurement Teams working with departmental Subject Matter Experts to conceptualize and design how the State of Alaska’s business functions work in IRIS. The business design is an essential component of the project as it serves as a blueprint for configuring the new system during the Build Phase and provides a more specific understanding of what will change. Both teams have been working extremely hard and are starting to see the fruits of their labor! Included in the Envision Phase were the fit-gap activities to disposition the system requirements identified in the contract.

Fit-Gap Wrap Up
  • Financial Team: With 651 financial requirements, the team has only 6 remaining requirements pending resolution.
  • Procurement Team: All 336 procurement, vendor and warehouse requirements have been resolved.

After the teams finish the business designs, the IRIS Project Team will use the completed designs to begin the Build Phase, which as the name implies, involves the actual configuration of IRIS. Additionally, interfaces, forms, and data conversion components will also be developed and tested during Build.

For more information on IRIS project phases, visit the IRIS Project Schedule page. To view past news updates, visit the IRIS Project News & Information page.

Fit Gap Analysis Underway 12/01/2012

The IRIS Project Team is conducting its Fit Gap analysis which involves assessing the SOA requirements against what was demonstrated during the prototyping sessions. "Fits" are those requirements that work in IRIS, while "Gaps" are those requirements that IRIS does not currently accommodate. The team will focus on mitigation strategies for the Gaps, including recommendations for customizations, conversions, enhancements, business process reengineering, interface, or other (knowledge, reports, documentation, set-up, training). The Project Team will continue to collaborate with Subject Matter Experts for input to inform and help define our future state.

Prototyping Sessions in Progress 10/05/2012

TO_BE Prototyping sessions, a collaborative effort between the project team and departmental SMEs are underway.  The sessions are broken out by procurement and finance business functions, with some overlapping sessions. In the first few week of sessions, the workgroups have made significant progress towards developing the future of the SOA Financial and Procurement business functions in IRIS.

Financial Prototyping Highlights:
  • Conducted decentralized sessions on Chart of Accounts (COA), reviewing all COA elements available in IRIS
  • Mapped SOA structures to IRIS COA using example scenarios from SOA departments
  • Conducted centralized and decentralized General Accounting sessions, modeling SOA business scenarios in IRIS and discussing important configuration needs
  • Reviewed IRIS Budget capabilities, describing controls and COA elements as relate to budget structures
Procurement Prototyping Highlights:
  • Conducted in-depth discussions on Vendor Self-Service (VSS) including external perceptions, efficiency, and potential changes to the organization
  • Reviewed proposed models for requesting goods and services in IRIS exploring the different requisition types available in the system
  • Identified areas in the starting model that require refinement
  • Conducted sessions on generating awards, managing awards and contracts, and requests for alternative procurements
  • Reviewed the different types of Catalogs available in IRIS.
  • Explored Contract and Master Agreement management functionality available through IRIS 

IRIS Debt Management System is Live! 07/17/2012

As of July 17th, the first IRIS module is live! The IRIS Debt Management System allows the State of Alaska to comprehensively manage and administer its debt program. This technology includes management for debt issues, issuance costs, summary reporting on interest and principal payments, outstanding debt balances, and variable rate interest calculations as well as the ability to interface with enterprise-wide cash flow reporting.

Debt Management System Benefits include:
  • Increased efficiency and accuracy for debt reporting purposes.
  • Consolidation of debt information statewide for a single system of record.
  • Standardized process for debt management.
  • Real time visibility and tracking of debt management activity.
  • Bond amortizations calculated by the Debt Management System and reported through a financial system interface (AKSAS, and later IRIS).
  • Facilitation of CAFR reporting through sub-ledger detail for bond principal and interest payments.

This is a great enhancement to the State's computing capabilities and to our ability to monitor, maintain and analyze the debt of the State of Alaska. - Deven Mitchell, State of Alaska Debt Manager

Implementation of the Debt Management System supports the overall IRIS Project goals of transparency and accountability, statewide standardized business processes, operational efficiencies, and long-term viability. In August 2012, the IRIS Debt Management system will generate its first bond payment.

Current end users for the Debt Management system include the Departments of Administration, Revenue, Transportation and Public Facilities, and Education and Early Development as well as the State Bond Committee and the Alaska Student Loan Corporation.

IRIS and Department Subject Matter Experts (SME) Document Current SOA Financial and Procurement Processes 03/19/2012

The IRIS Project Team and department SMEs recently began identification and high level documentation of current SOA financial and procurement business processes. In order to ensure that the IRIS system and future SOA business processes mutually support each other, it is important to identify and document all existing SOA business processes related to the IRIS effort.

Once these current business processes are identified and documented, future business processes can be determined. Current business processes are referred to as “AS-IS” business processes. Future or planned business processes are referred to as “TO-BE” business processes.

Email from Commissioner Becky Hultberg 12/06/2011

Becky Hultberg, Commissioner of the Department of Administration, sent an email to all Alaska State employees announcing the winners of the ERP Naming and Logo Contests. The full text of the email can be found here.

Enterprise Resource Planning Project Naming Contest and Logo Winners Announced 12/06/2011

The IRIS Steering Team has selected a winning name and approved a logo. The naming contest generated 212 entries which were judged on relevance, creativity and fit. The winning entry, Integrated Resource Information System (IRIS), was submitted by Dena Ross (DPS). Additionally, logo ideas were submitted by Mark Merchant (DOA), Staci Augustus (DOA), Lynn Wibbenmeyer (DNR), and Tara Horton (HSS). The selected logo was originally designed by Amy Carroll (DFG) and refined by Andy Mills (DOA).

Naming/Logo Design Contest Winners

Statewide Employee Participation in IRIS 11/30/2011

The Division of Finance is leading the IRIS project. However in order to have a successful outcome, it is vital to have active participation and input from individuals in all State of Alaska (SOA) administrative disciplines and agencies through the design, development, and deployment phases of the IRIS project. In the coming months, the IRIS Steering Team and IRIS Project Team will communicate opportunities for participation in the effort as well as solicit input. SOA employee contributions and engagement will help to ensure a final product that meets the SOA's needs and of which we can be proud.